Kingston, Pennsylvania

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Kingston, Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania Route 309 as it runs through Kingston and the surrounding areas
Pennsylvania Route 309 as it runs through Kingston and the surrounding areas
Motto: "A Great Place to Call Home"[1]
Location of Kingston in Luzerne County, Pennsylvania.
Location of Kingston in Luzerne County, Pennsylvania.
Kingston is located in Pennsylvania
Kingston is located in the US
Location of Kingston in Luzerne County, Pennsylvania.
Coordinates: 41°16′N 75°53′W / 41.267°N 75.883°W / 41.267; -75.883Coordinates: 41°16′N 75°53′W / 41.267°N 75.883°W / 41.267; -75.883
Country United States
State Pennsylvania
County Luzerne
Settled 1771
Incorporated 1857
 • Type Home Rule (Strong executive/appointed manager)
 • Mayor James J. Haggerty
 • Total 2.21 sq mi (5.72 km2)
 • Land 2.13 sq mi (5.51 km2)
 • Water 0.08 sq mi (0.21 km2)
Elevation 545 ft (166 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total 13,182
 • Estimate (2016)[3] 12,861
 • Density 6,043.70/sq mi (2,333.71/km2)
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
Zip code 18704
Area code(s) 570
FIPS code 42-39784
Website Kingston Borough, Pennsylvania

Kingston is a borough in Luzerne County, Pennsylvania, United States, on the Susquehanna River opposite Wilkes Barre. As of the 2010 census, the population was 13,182.[4]


A map of Wyoming Valley forts in 1778. “D” represents Kingston Village; “G” represents the battlefield.

18th and 19th centuries[edit]

Kingston was settled in the early 1770s. The Battle of Wyoming occurred near the new settlement (in 1778).[5] The community has a rich history as a pivotal pioneer in American education. In 1775, a new school was erected on the site of one established in 1773, which is said to have been the first public school in Pennsylvania.[6] The borough is also home to the Upper School campus of Wyoming Seminary, a prestigious college preparatory school founded in Kingston in 1844. The school was founded with a total of just 31 students—17 boys and 14 girls—enrolling in the first year. Today, Wyoming Seminary's historic campus hosts roughly 450 students and its Lower School grounds in Forty Fort host students from pre-K through eighth grade.

Kingston witnessed a population boom after the construction and operation of the Lackawanna and Bloomsburg Railroad. It was incorporated as a borough on November 23, 1857. The borough is named after Kingston, Rhode Island.[7] Kingston is part of Coal Region. Prior to the Knox Mine Disaster, the borough was an active anthracite coal mining community.[8]

20th century[edit]

An old postcard of Kingston.

In 1923, the Kingston Armory was built. On September 11, 1950, 33 guardsmen from the 109th Field Artillery Regiment were killed in a train accident near Coshocton, Ohio. In the following days, the dead were moved to the Kingston Armory. Once there, the 109th Field Artillery Battalion relinquished the remains of their fellow soldiers to the grief-stricken families.[9]

In June 1972, Kingston was devastated by the flooding of Hurricane Agnes. The hurricane, at the time the most significant natural disaster in American history, wreaked havoc on Kingston and neighboring Wilkes-Barre, causing a state of emergency. The natural disaster earned national attention and a visit from President Richard Nixon who recruited Wyoming Seminary graduate Frank Carlucci, Nixon's head of the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, as a point man to oversee flood recovery efforts.

Kingston adopted a home rule charter which became effective in January 1976.


Kingston in the background (behind Wilkes-Barre City)

The Borough of Kingston lies within the Wyoming Valley of Northeastern Pennsylvania. Kingston is located in the northern half of Luzerne County.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the borough has a total area of 2.2 square miles (5.7 km2), of which 2.1 square miles (5.5 km2) is land and 0.08 square miles (0.2 km2), or 3.61%, is water.[10] It is separated from Wilkes-Barre by the Susquehanna River and the boundary of the latter's Kirby Park. Its numbered routes are U.S. Route 11 and Pennsylvania Route 309, which follows the Cross Valley Expressway from the Back Mountain area to Interstate 81 and Route 115 east of the city. Market Street and Pierce Street connect Kingston with center city via bridges.

Besides neighboring Wilkes-Barre, Kingston also borders the communities of Edwardsville, Pringle, Luzerne, and Forty Fort. The Borough of Kingston is served by the Wilkes-Barre Wyoming Valley Airport (near Forty Fort) and the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport (in Pittston Township).


Historical population
Census Pop.
1860 638
1870 1,143 79.2%
1880 1,418 24.1%
1890 2,381 67.9%
1900 3,846 61.5%
1910 6,449 67.7%
1920 8,952 38.8%
1930 21,600 141.3%
1940 20,679 −4.3%
1950 21,096 2.0%
1960 20,261 −4.0%
1970 18,325 −9.6%
1980 15,681 −14.4%
1990 14,507 −7.5%
2000 13,855 −4.5%
2010 13,182 −4.9%
Est. 2016 12,861 [3] −2.4%

As of the census[13] of 2000, there were 13,855 people, 6,065 households, and 3,372 families residing in the borough. The population density was 6,461.6 people per square mile (2,499.7/km2). There were 6,555 housing units at an average density of 3,057.1 per square mile (1,182.7/km2). The racial makeup of the borough was 96.84% White, 0.77% African American, 0.07% Native American, 1.53% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.29% from other races, and 0.50% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.80% of the population.

There were 6,065 households, out of which 23.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 40.7% were married couples living together, 11.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 44.4% were non-families. 40.1% of all households were made up of individuals, and 20.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.16 and the average family size was 2.94.

In the borough the population was spread out, with 19.7% under the age of 18, 7.5% from 18 to 24, 25.6% from 25 to 44, 22.8% from 45 to 64, and 24.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 43 years. For every 100 females there were 83.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 78.9 males.

The median income for a household in the borough was $33,611, and the median income for a family was $45,578. Males had a median income of $34,069 versus $24,482 for females. The per capita income for the borough was $20,568. About 8.2% of families and 11.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 11.7% of those under age 18 and 10.3% of those age 65 or over.


In film and television[edit]

The 2013 film The English Teacher is set in Kingston, though it was not filmed there. The film features several references to the Wyoming Valley region, including a mention of Wilkes University.

National Register of Historic Places[edit]

In addition to Fleck Hall on the campus of Wyoming Seminary, the Kingston Armory and Market Street Bridge are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.[15]

Wyoming Seminary's Carpenter Hall


In June 2012, the borough was 54 percent Democratic, a reversal from the early 1990s when it was a 60 percent Republican borough.

Kingston operates under a home rule charter. The legislative function is vested in a seven-member council. Kingston's charter also calls for a full-time municipal administrator.

The current mayor of Kingston is James J. Haggerty. Haggerty was first elected in 1997 and has been re-elected in 2001, 2005, 2009, and 2013. The current administrator is Paul Keating, who has served in that position since 1997.[16]

The current members of council are Council President Robert Thompson, Jr. (Republican, 1998-present), Council Vice President Sandra Kase (Republican, 2006-present), Robert Rowlands (Republican, 1999-present), Nancy Cooper (Republican, 2000-present), Jack Schumacher (Republican, 2000-present), Anthony Dicton (Republican, 2014-present), Robert F. Jacobs (Republican, 2015-present). [17]

State and federal representation[edit]

  • State Representative Aaron Kaufer, 120th legislative district (Republican, 2015–present)
  • State Senator Lisa Baker, 20th Senatorial district (Republican, 2007–present)
  • U.S. Representative Lou Barletta, 11th Congressional district (Republican, 2011–present)

Notable people[edit]


  1. ^ "Kingston Borough, Pennsylvania". Kingston Borough, Pennsylvania. Retrieved August 11, 2012. 
  2. ^ "2016 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved Aug 14, 2017. 
  3. ^ a b "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved June 9, 2017. 
  4. ^ "Profile of General Population and Housing Characteristics: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (DP-1): Kingston borough, Pennsylvania". U.S. Census Bureau, American Factfinder. Retrieved April 12, 2012. 
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^ "Geographic Identifiers: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (G001): Kingston borough, Pennsylvania". U.S. Census Bureau, American Factfinder. Retrieved April 12, 2012. 
  11. ^ "Number of Inhabitants: Pennsylvania" (PDF). 18th Census of the United States. U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 22 November 2013. 
  12. ^ "Pennsylvania: Population and Housing Unit Counts" (PDF). U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 22 November 2013. 
  13. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  14. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population". U.S. Census Bureau. Archived from the original on 19 October 2013. Retrieved 22 November 2013. 
  15. ^ National Park Service (2010-07-09). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 
  16. ^ "Kingston Borough". Retrieved 2017-04-22. 
  17. ^ "Luzerne County : Election Results Archive". Retrieved 2017-04-22.